Posted on February 11 2018


Six Simple Steps for Scheduling Martial Arts Classes

One of the most important elements of a martial arts school’s operations is the class schedule. Deciding on an appropriate and effective schedule that matches the needs of your students and your curriculum can often be a very challenging task.

Six steps for scheduling classes:

  • Decide how you will arrange your classes.
    1. Will you organize your classes according to program, age, rank? Most schools have different programs such as a Little Dragons or Tiny Tigers program, a junior program and a teens and adult program. Some schools offer family classes, as well as various other programs including an Instructor Training program.
    2. The programs are usually structured by age, but within each program are different levels such as beginner, intermediate and advanced. How you structure your schedule depends on the size of your school and your members. Different programs directly affect the type of schedule that you need to offer.
  • Size of each class. How many students do you want to have in each class? For the 4 to 6 age group, 10 to 15 students in one class are enough. For the 7 to 12 age group, 15 to 20 students are a good size and for the teenagers and adults it is not usually a problem to go up to 30 students in one class.
    1. This is also dependent on the size of you school, as you do not want too many students sitting on sideline watching other vs. being part of the training or technique.
    2. There are other strategies for teaching more students in one class by using additional instructors and assistants or by implementing a rotating curriculum, but if you are on your own or your floor space is limited group lesson may work the best.
  • Length of each class. How long will each of your classes be? Keep in mind that young kids have shorter attention spans and probably only need 30 to 45-minute classes. Older kids, teenagers and especially adults are looking for a good workout and will usually need at least an hour.
    1. Classes should start and end on time, especially if there are classes back to back.
  • Decide how many classes you need. How many students do you currently have and how often do those students come to class each week? For example, if you have 100 students and the average student comes to class 1.5 times per week then you should plan your classes as if you have 150 students coming once per week. If you want 15 students in each class then you need 10 classes.
    1. Some classes and time slots will be the most popular, those classes may need a different format then classes that normally have less students.
  • Available time slots. When are you and your instructors available to teach? If you are operating a professional school, you will set your schedule based on which hours are best for your members. If you are running your program part-time through a community center or a YMCA and have volunteers as assistants, you may need to be more flexible when it comes to setting your schedule. Find out which hours are available and fit your lessons into those slots after you have completed steps 1 through 4.
  • Tracking methods. How will you track your attendance in each class so that you know which classes are working and which are not? Keep a simple document or spreadsheet in your mobile device to keep attendance.
    1. Track your attendance otherwise you have no idea which classes are working (well attended) or which classes are failing (the ones that have all but turned into private lessons for the same monthly tuition fee).

Help you fellow instructors be leaving some tips you find work well.

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